Bijin-do, a.k.a. Bijin Island, just off the coast of Tongyeong, is really worth considering for a weekend getaway or even just a day trip. It isn’t nearly as famous as some of Korea’s other islands, but that’s exactly what makes it pleasant. Once you are off the ferry, you won’t be surrounded by crowds of other visitors and one of the best parts about traveling there is that you’ll be able to spend some quiet time in a lovely spot that you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for.
A sandy beach is always a great attraction, and Bijin-do happens to have one where you can swim and sunbathe (quite undisturbed most of the time.) Bijin-do is actually two islands connected by a land bridge. Hiking is a good way to spend a big part of the day. A two-hour hike (nothing too strenuous) takes you to a spectacular viewpoint from where you can see the connecting island.
Although the beach isn’t exactly spotless, it’s perfect for chilling out, playing a game of frisbee or reading that book you haven’t had a chance to get to. Swimming is a great option if you are brave enough to enter the chilly water. There is also the choice of befriending some friendly Koreans who might offer you a ride on their jetskis. Sunset displays a beautiful image of smaller islands’ silhouettes against a red-tinted sky.
Among the handful of inhabitants living on Bijin-do, a sweet-tempered woman has taken the initiative to open a small restaurant which serves delicious Korean food. A couple of minbaks offer basic but comfortable accommodation. Although camping is not really advertised there, it is also possible to pitch up a tent on the beach. There is one shop on the island where you can buy some snacks and cold drinks. A late afternoon stroll through the small village’s quiet streets offers some great photo opportunities.
All in all, Bijin-do is hard to beat for a great place to get out of the city for awhile and enjoy some peace and quiet in some lovely surroundings.
Getting there: A trip to Bijin-do will start with a bus ride to Tongyeong (more or less two hours from Busan for 9,800 won). After that, you take a taxi for 10 minutes to the ferry terminal, followed by a 40-minute ferry ride to the island (6,700 won). Ferries leave from Tongyeong only three times a day (at 7:00, 11:00 and 2:00 p.m.). It can get pretty busy in the summertime among hikers, so it’s a good idea to book ahead or show up well early at the terminal.
Photos by Elaine Coetzee
The Latest Haps
Strong winds and rain are wreaking havoc around the city as typhoon conditions have caused property damage around Busan and the cancelation of flights and ferry services.
Three foreign cruise ships will arrive today at Busan Port for the first time this year.
The brother of a man diagnosed with the infection two days earlier has tested positive for the mosquito-borne virus, according to the KCDC.
Disney/Marvel’s blockbuster “Captain America: Civil War” has broken the record for the largest opening day in Korean cinema history.
Croatian pianist Maksim Mrvica is set to perform at the BEXCO Auditorium on Saturday, May 14th.
The number of foreign residents in South Korea reached 1.9 million this year, with a steady increase in the number of Chinese nationals.
The monthly Busan book swap is set for this Sunday, May 1st at Beached Bar in Gwangalli.
Two great chefs will pit their skills against each other for Cinco de Mayo this Thursday at Gwangan HQ.
Subway has announced its 10th Busan location as it will open its newest store in Haeundae this month.
Government agencies have started inspecting the city to make sure that Busan is presentable to tourists.
More and more people are discovering the joys of traveling to Cambodia for holidays. Simon Slater found a wonderful place known as Kampot — that is still somewhat of a secret.
An international yacht race will be held at Suyeong Bay from this Thursday to Sunday.
The top tennis tournament in South Korea will begin tomorrow at Geumjeong Sports Park.
The East Sea of Korea Haeparang Trail: The Busan Walking Festival will take place on May 7, 2016 at Oryukdo Sunrise Park.